David J. Forman's presumption that "just as no one could suppress the will of the Jewish people...the aspirations of the Palestinian people...must also be acknowledged" ("Homeless and helpless", Oct.9) is partly answered in an interview in that same issue. Martin Kramer, prodded by Elliot Jager, states on page 26 that Israel's founders "would have rejected the idea that our fate is a function of whether the Palestinian Arabs organize a state".
But more irritating in reading Forman's assertion that Israel's policy c"contradicts the spirit" of Succot is the automatic recall of Shakespeare's observation in The Merchant of Venice that even "the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose". As a Reform Rabbi, he knows that what the Bible terms "the mountain of the Lord's house", Har Habayit, in Isaiah 2:2, is also bereft of Jews. We, too, are homeless. We have no rights there.
Not only do we not have a Temple or can actually bring sacrifices, not only do we not have a small synagogue on the Temple Mount, not only can we not pray therein under open skies, not only can we not pursue archaeological digs there to discover its Jewish past, not only can we not prevent Muslims from destroying those artifacts or dumping them but we get blamed for somehow being "provocative" and Arabs feel it is quite normal for them to bear false witness, incite against us and our government and throw stones at the police and worshipers at the Western Wall with full impunity.
That is an issue with which a Rabbi should concern himself.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Forman Formless and Clueless
Here's my letter in reaction to David Forman's article in last week's JPost Magazine (it isn't yet up online; I'll add the link later):-